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Boat Related Questions
Is there inside seating available on the boat?
Yes. Inside seating is available on all of the MSFS vessels.
Do I have to stay in my vehicle for the ferry trip?
You are not required to remain in your vehicle for the duration of the trip. For the safety of yourself, others and the crew you are expected to be in your vehicle during the loading and unloading process. Once the boat has departed the loading pen, you are free to move about the cabins.
Is there food & drink service on the boat?
No, there are no concession services on board the vessels. You are welcome to bring food and non alcoholic beverages on board with you for your enjoyment during the trip.
How many cars fit on the ferry?
The capacity varies with each vessel and is dependent upon the size and length of vehicles being transported.
Are the vessels handicap accessible?
Yes, they are handicap accessible and if you require assistance boarding and departing the vessel the boat crew and/or line attendant will be more than happy to help you.
Are dogs allowed on the boats?
Yes! Pets are allowed on board the vessel. Each boat has a pet friendly cabin that is clearly marked for those passengers traveling with their pets. We do ask that you keep your pet leashed/restrained and clean up after them as necessary.
Ticket Related Questions
Should I purchase my tickets in advance of my trip?
There is no benefit to purchasing tickets in advance. Unless the tickets are associated with a reservation, they do not ensure passage and are not trip specific. Tickets are non refundable so should your plans change, the weather not cooperate or for any number of reasons you do not use them, you have them to utilize on a future trip and cannot be returned.
I put my vehicle in line and purchased my ticket, does this mean my car is going to make the next boat?
Not necessarily. Because the tickets are not trip specific, purchase of the ticket does not mean your vehicle will depart on the next available boat. The line attendant will not have a clearer answer for you until the boarding process has begun.
Why can't I purchase a one way ticket?
Only Round-Trip tickets are sold. Tickets do not expire, so if you only use your ticket as a one-way, you may use the other half in the future.
Do you have any senior citizen, military or AAA discounts?
No. The tickets are subsidized by various state and federal agencies and there are no discounts available.
Do you sell off season tickets at a reduced rate?
Yes, Off Peak season is October 1 to May 31, and rates are lower during that time. A Peak season ticket may be used during the Off-Peak season though no refund for the difference will be issued. An Off-Peak season ticket may be used during the Peak season by purchasing an additional Off-Peak Upgrade Ticket for the difference.
I plan to bring my motorcycle to the island, what kind of ticket do I need and where do I line up?
Motorcycles require a motorcycle ticket, which includes the rider. Inquire at the ticket window for instructions on where to wait for the boat. Motorcycles are generally lined up near where the pedestrians board the boat and are put on board after the vehicles and pedestrians are on the boat.
I'm going as a foot passenger to Vinalhaven but returning from North Haven. What kind of tickets do I need to purchase?
Tickets are available at all mainland and island terminals as round-trip only and are origin/destination based for Islesboro and Matinicus. Tickets for Swans's Island, Frenchboro, North Haven and Vinalhaven are not origin/destination based, meaning both portions of a round-trip ticket may be used in any combination to take 2 one-way rides between Bass Harbor and Swan's Island, Bass Harbor and Frenchboro, Rockland and North Haven or Rockland and Vinalhaven.
My children are young and will be in a stroller. Is there an additional charge for bringing that on board?
No, there is no additional charge for strollers.
Island Related Questions
What's on the islands?
All of the islands serviced by the Maine State Ferry Service are highly residential fishing communities. Vinalhaven has a village area that is within walking distance of the Ferry and offers a handful of shops and a couple restaurants. The other islands have a general store and a restaurant or two but vary in their accessibility and distance from where the ferry docks.
Are there campgrounds on the islands?
No, there are no campgrounds on any of the islands we service.
Are there rental cars or taxi's on the islands?
There is no public transportation services available on any of the islands.
Can I get my vehicle from one island to another?
No. There is no inter-island service to accommodate transporting vehicles.
Do you provide inter-island services for pedestrians?
No. There is no inter-island service available through the Maine StateFerry Service for vehicles or passengers. There may be private water taxi services available. Customers should inquire about such services by contacting the island terminal.
How much time will I have to visit Matinicus if I am planning to go out and back on the same day ferry trip
The ferry remains on Matinicus for an hour or less before loading and departing on its return trip to Rockland.
You have infrequent scheduled trips to Matinicus, is taking the ferry the only way to get there and back?
No. Private water taxi services are available in addition to air services to and from the island.
Boarding Related Questions
How do I know if my vehicle will make it on board?
With all the varying factors to be taken into consideration, the line attendant will not have a clearer answer until the boarding process has begun. It all depends on how many reservations arrive on time, the size/length of vehicles and how many vehicles ahead of you in line are occupied and intending to board the next available boat.
How early do I need to arrive if I am a foot passenger on the boat?
You will want to allow enough time to find alternative parking in the event the terminal lot is full, get your tickets and unload your luggage.
How early do I need to arrive to put my car in the first come, first served line?
A good rule of thumb is to try to arrive as close to the departure of the previous trip than the one you intend to take. For example if you are hoping to get your vehicle on the 2:45 PM trip to Vinalhaven, you should plan on putting your vehicle in line as close to the 1:00 PM departure as you can.
Ferry Passage Related Questions
Does the ferry make multiple stops per trip?
No, each trip is designed to depart the mainland or island terminal and only regularly services it's original destination.
How rough is the trip?
Marine conditions are contingent on current and offshore weather conditions and can vary from calm to rough on any given day.
Does it get windy and cold on the trip?
It can get breezy or chilly depending upon the weather and personal preference. It is a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweatshirt with you.
Will we see wildlife during the trip?
Although there are no guarantees that you will see wildlife on your trip, You may see, a variety of coastal birds and the occasional otter, seal or porpoise.
Do you offer/include guided bird watching, lighthouse tours and/or puffin watch trips?
Our operations are service oriented to meet the transportation needs of the islands and do not include guided or narrated trips.
I want to do a day trip, does it matter which scheduled time I depart?
You will want to familiarize yourself with the schedule and allow enough time to ensure you will be able to be on board a return trip. Typically waiting until the afternoon does not ensure enough time to accommodate the round trip boat ride and allow for time to visit the island.
We are visiting and made a spur of the moment decision to take a trip to one of the islands. What do we need to know?
It is best to plan such trips as foot passengers, as getting a vehicle over and back is not always able to be accommodated. It is also recommended to familiarize yourself with the schedule to ensure you are on board one of the departing trips of the day. Wear comfortable shoes for walking, bring a light jacket or sweatshirt and any other personal effects you may need or want for your trip.
My children will be accompanying me on the ferry, what do I need to know?
Many children look forward to the adventure of a boat ride! For safety we ask that children be attended and please do not allow your child(ren) to play on the deck of the boat. Vehicles are subject to shifting and sudden movement during the trip and it is unsafe for children to be playing around or under the vehicles on board. The doors and windows on the vessels are extremely heavy and can be quite damaging to little hands and feet. Please assist your children with opening doors to the restrooms, cabins and windows.
If the weather forecast is clear, do I still need to be concerned that there may be a cancellation?
Trips are subject to cancellation for any number of reasons including mechanic issues, crew availability, weather, etc. and it is always a good idea to check the daily operations update for the most accurate trip information.
How can I find out if a trip has been cancelled?
Daily operation updates are available on a recorded line by contacting the terminal you are traveling from. Updates are made throughout the day as needed.
If the first run is cancelled due to weather is it safe to assume the remaining trips for the day will also be cancelled?
No. Weather conditions can change dramatically throughout the day and later trips may remain as scheduled. Cancellations are made per round trip departure and determined 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, at which time the Captain of the vessel will make the final decision if the trip is cancelled or operating as usual.
Parking Related Questions
What do I do if the parking lot at the terminal is full?
During the summer season, be sure to allow plenty of time in case the parking lot is full, and be aware ahead of time of the locations of municipal or street parking near the terminal where you plan to depart.
I am planning on purchasing long term discounted parking at one of your facilities, will I be assigned a space?
No, purchasing discounted long term parking does not include an assigned parking spot. During the height of the busy season it is not uncommon for the parking lots to become full. Even with purchasing the discounted long term parking it is highly recommended that you allow enough time to find alternative parking if necessary.